Oh, those good old days when one could see Roberto Baggio and Diego Maradona facing each other in the Serie A. When the two used to meet, the game could never be an ordinary one: It was September 17, 1989, indeed, when a young Baggio took the luxury of scoring a sensational goal which clearly resembled Maradona’s Gol del Siglo at the World Cup 1986.
On February 4, 2004, Roma and Juventus squared off at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, while sharing the second spot in the table, to decide who between them would be Carlo Ancelotti’s Milan’s main challenger for the rest of the season. Roma won 4-0, but the game is mostly remembered for Francesco Totti’s display of typical Italian hand gestures communication skills.
Napoli-Inter was the radiography of two football sides living diametrically opposed moments, with the final outcome taking a perfect snapshot of the situation. The Nerazzurri easily moved past the struggling Partenopei to capture their first win in Napoli since 1998, thanks to a sumptuous performance by Romelu Lukaku – who is turning Serie A into his personal game reserve.
Lecce-Udinese was an iconic battle in the 2004-2005 campaign. The Salentini and the Friuliani faced each other four times that season, twice in Campionato and twice in Coppa Italia. The match of November 20th, 2004, in particular, lived up to the craziest show-time expectations, featuring 9 goals and a dramatic last-minute penalty saved by Udinese’s David Di Michele.
And so, Milan it is. Zlatan Ibrahimovic decided to continue his seemingly-endless career with another stop in the red-and-black side of Milano. But while Ibra’s Second Coming is surely a hit for Serie A, the signing of a 38-year-old looks more like a temporary Band-Aid than the fruit of some calculated planning on the part of the Rossoneri management.
The first Japanese player to ever set foot in Serie A was Kazuyoshi “Kazu” Miura. Before Hideyoshi Nakata and Shunsuke Nakamura, before Takayuki Morimoto and Yuto Nagatomo, there was this little-known son of the Rising Sun who played for the Rossoblu side of Genoa in the 1994-95 season. Miura tallied 21 presences and 1 goal only – but oh, what a goal that was.
Two infinite minutes. That’s how long it took for the referee to check Alejandro Gomez’s position on a pass by Robin Gosens, before ruling that El Papu was not in offside when he served Timothy Castagne an assist for the goal that propelled Atalanta into history. La Dea qualified to the Champions League knockout stage after trailing Shakhtar Donetsk 3-0.
On September 1, 1991, Cagliari received title-holder Sampdoria at the Sant’ Elia Stadium in the opening match of Serie A 1991-92. The most representative player of the Rossoblu was Uruguayan midfielder Enzo Francescoli, who is still widely remembered in Sardinia for a magnificent goal that helped his side knock the Italian champions down.
There is a reason why Italy’s dazzling 9-1 win over a modest Armenia selection is sending the whole world of calcio in raptures. Historically, the Italians have not exactly been known for their offensive style of play, their football credo being rather exemplified by the notorious catenaccio. Roberto Mancini is on a mission to change that perception.
Carlo Ancelotti’s experience in Napoli may be set to end abruptly as the events following his players’ mutiny against president Aurelio De Laurentiis continue to unfold. Dark clouds gathered over the Azzurri roster last night as captain Lorenzo Insigne and his teammates refused to remain at a training retreat imposed by the club after tying 1-1 against Red Bull Salzburg.
Leave Sebastiano Esposito alone and let him grow, one would say. Well, small chance of that. Since Antonio Conte sent him in at San Siro during Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund, nothing will be the same anymore for the 17-year-old Inter’s young prospect. People won’t stop talking about him and building hype around the supposedly new hope of calcio.
A shocking first-minute opener by Inter’s beloved “Uncle” Giuseppe Bergomi, a penalty tap-in by Le Roi Michel Platini, after Walter Zenga had saved his first shot. The Derby d’Italia between Inter and Juventus played at the San Siro Stadium on November 24, 1985, was a showcase of talent and players who would go on to make history in their respective clubs.